Edith Jeal 

An interesting sidelight into the school’s history was found in a recent review of our Archive listings. These include two letters and a petition concerning the murder of Edith Jeal (aged 5).

One letter was from Thomas Griffiths, builder and contractor of 106 St George's Road, Brighton, to H. Hebbert [School Treasurer], enclosing a letter from Robert Burmann, Arlington House, Eastern Road, Brighton, 17 Dec 1891, and a petition to the Trustees of St Mary's Hall from local residents requesting the demolition of the shed or barn which was the site of the murder. There is also a copy of the reply from HH, 22 Dec 1891.

Edith was murdered on 10 December 1891, and her body was found in a shed in a field between Eastern Road and Chesham Road, which was rented from St Mary's Hall by RB as a playground for Arlington House School.

George Henry Wood was found guilty of the murder and hanged at Lewes Prison on 26 April 1892.

Douglas d’Enno, whose book “East Brighton and Ovingdean Through Time” is referenced on our History page, covered this incident in his book “Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths Around Brighton” and references it also in “Brighton Crime & Vice 1800-2000” has most generously shared the relevant pages (with images) from both volumes with us to complement this item.

Mr d’Enno is a prolific author whose titles can be found here.